Physical hunger comes on gradually, without a sense of urgency (unless we have gone way too long without food). When we are hungry, a wide variety of foods sound good to us. When we eat, our hunger stops when we are full. And finally, eating to satisfy physical hunger does not make us feel bad about ourselves.
Here are a few ways to recognize “emotional hunger”.
a) It comes on suddenly and can feel very urgent and overwhelming.
b) Emotional hunger makes us crave specific comfort food like sugar, processed or fatty foods.
c) When we are eating emotionally, it can be very “mindless”. The food is often eaten in large amounts and before you know it, the whole pint of ice cream is gone!
d) Emotional eating is not stimulated by hunger pangs or low blood sugar, it’s more like a craving you can’t get out of your head.
e) Once a person indulges in an emotional eating episode, they often feel guilt, shame or regret. When physical hunger is satisfied, this does not usually occur.
For more detailed information on emotional eating, go to: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/diet-weight-loss/emotional-eating.htm.
Sandra Blackie is a certified Sports Nutritionist & offers a FREE 30-minute consultation. 619-977-5779.